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I-T attaches properties worth Rs 225 crore of Mayawati aide

All 20 immovable properties (7 in Delhi, 3 in Mumbai, 7 in Noida and 3 in Kolkata) and 3 luxury cars valued at about Rs 1 crore found at Net Ram's residence have been provisionally attached

Following last week's searches on premises of retired Uttar Pradesh-cadre IAS officer and aide to BSP chief Mayawati, Net Ram, the Income Tax Department has attached properties worth Rs 225 crore belonging to him and his associates.

All the 20 immovable properties valued at Rs 225 crore (7 in Delhi, 3 in Mumbai, 7 in Noida and 3 in Kolkata) and 3 luxury cars valued at about Rs 1 crore (1 Mercedes, 2 Toyota Fortuner) found at Net Ram's residence have been provisionally attached u/s 132(9B) of the Income-tax Act, officials said. 17 lockers restrained during searches are yet to be searched, the officials said.

The searches, conducted by Delhi Investigation Directorate, March 12 at 11 premises in Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bareily had resulted in seizure of cash of Rs 2.03 crore and jewellery of Rs 17.79 lakh, apart from incriminating documents.

The tax officials claimed that the search action has revealed a "sophisticated modus-operandi of money-laundering" wherein Kolkata-based entry operators and other close associates including in laws of the main person assisted the group by providing entire structure of shell companies/LLPs and facilitated conversion of undisclosed cash into cheque/RTGS. "The cash received from the main person was introduced in the books of these shell companies in the form of sale of unquoted investments (paper entries only) which was first invested in mutual funds and later redeemed for purchasing properties," they said.

A 1979-batch IAS officer, Net Ram was first secretary to the chief minister and between 2007 and 2012 served as principal secretary to chief minister during Mayawati's last stint.

Separately, in another set of action, the Directorate of Income Tax (Investigation), Delhi conducted search action on a group involved in cricket betting and hawala dealings residing in Punjabi Bagh area of Delhi and seized unaccounted cash of Rs 95 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 1.8 crore, foreign currency of Rs 14 lakh, expensive wrist watches of about Rs 50 lakh, officials said.

Three properties worth Rs 30 crore including two houses in Punjabi Bagh area and one farmhouse in Bijwasan along with four cars have been attached by the tax department.

Documents evidencing several undisclosed foreign bank accounts in BVI and Dubai have also been found along with detection of a London property, the officials said, without disclosing identity of the accused.

Officials said documents pertaining to acceptance of cash loans, settlement of disputed properties of around Rs. 100 crore were found and seized along with 180 bottles of foreign brand liquor.